Many Christians on the forum have defended the story of Abraham almost sacrificing and making a burnt offering of his son Isaac to God at God's request as the ultimate test of Abraham's faith by God (BTW, in the Quran, Allah also tells Abraham in a dream to sacrifice his son Ishmael...what's that all about?). Never mind that if you believe the story as true, that you must also contend with the thought of the depths of emotional damage that was done onto Isaac by being the tortured victim in a game played on his dad by Yahweh. Anyway, to the Abraham/Issac example, many forum Christians have recently said that God would not have actually allowed Abraham to go through with the slaughter of his own son or that God would never tell someone to actually kill their child. If so, how do you guys respond to another Biblical story of human sacrifice by a father to his child that God did not stop? If you're not familiar, I'm speaking of when Jephthah kills his only child (a nameless virgin daughter in Judges ch.11) to honor his pact with God. The story ends with Jephthah killing his own daughter and cooking her in repayment for God's help in a military victory. What is the apologist's explanation for why God did not see fit to intervene on this occasion and save an innocent child? Also, what is the moral lesson of this particular sacrifice story?

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It's impossible to speak with force in a muffled voice from the closet

Original Post
quote:
Originally posted by A. Robustus:
Many Christians on the forum have defended the story of Abraham almost sacrificing and making a burnt offering of his son Isaac to God at God's request as the ultimate test of Abraham's faith by God (BTW, in the Quran, Allah also tells Abraham in a dream to sacrifice his son Ishmael...what's that all about?). Never mind that if you believe the story as true, that you must also contend with the thought of the depths of emotional damage that was done onto Isaac by being the tortured victim in a game played on his dad by Yahweh. Anyway, to the Abraham/Issac example, many forum Christians have recently said that God would not have actually allowed Abraham to go through with the slaughter of his own son or that God would never tell someone to actually kill their child. If so, how do you guys respond to another Biblical story of human sacrifice by a father to his child that God did not stop? If you're not familiar, I'm speaking of when Jephthah kills his only child (a nameless virgin daughter in Judges ch.11) to honor his pact with God. The story ends with Jephthah killing his own daughter and cooking her in repayment for God's help in a military victory. What is the apologist's explanation for why God did not see fit to intervene on this occasion and save an innocent child? Also, what is the moral lesson of this particular sacrifice story?


to me it was just one more example of why the bible cannot be true.

the idea of a loveing god isn't compatable with this story, as well as many many others.

but me, i walked away with belief in god intact, but with no use for the bible.

God isn't wrong, but the bible is.
i feel a little sorry for the people who base their disbelif on the contents of the bible.

to me, that's like decideing there was never a vlad dracul, because the novel dracula completly fictionalized his life.

the book is bunk, but that doesn't make the subject character fictional Smiler
A different take. I like it.


http://www.bibleserralta.com/J...hAndHisDaughter.html

Jephthah did not offer his daughter in sacrifice

Jephthah's vow was not a promise to kill the first one of his household who met him after his victorious return. He did not promise to burn that person in the fire of a pagan altar. His vow was to dedicate entirely to God anyone who met him first after his victory over the sons of Ammon.

In dedicating his daughter completely to God, Jephthah was depriving his only child from marriage. In doing this he was giving up his only possibility of having descendants. This was the reason for his great anguish expressed in Judges 11: 35, when he realized that his daughter was the one that met him first.
quote:
Originally posted by b50m:
A different take. I like it.


interesting.
will read more, but i think i like this as well.
gonna check a couple different interpretations, but this has promise..
he turned her into an ever-chaste nun-type, instead of into charcoal..

fits better with my own beliefs...

thanks for this B Smiler
That just it NS, he did not kill her.


Nagel,
This fits the scripture as well as the usual explanation and I don't think God would want him to sacrifice his daughter.
Why have wandering in the woods for two months and the mention of her being a virgin if he was going to kill her?
From the Book of Judges:

29Then the Spirit of the LORD came upon Jephthah, and he passed over Gilead, and Manasseh, and passed over Mizpeh of Gilead, and from Mizpeh of Gilead he passed over unto the children of Ammon. 30And Jephthah vowed a vow unto the LORD, and said, If thou shalt without fail deliver the children of Ammon into mine hands, 31Then it shall be, that whatsoever cometh forth of the doors of my house to meet me, when I return in peace from the children of Ammon, shall surely be the LORD'S, and I will offer it up for a burnt offering. 32So Jephthah passed over unto the children of Ammon to fight against them; and the LORD delivered them into his hands. 33And he smote them from Aroer, even till thou come to Minnith, even twenty cities, and unto the plain of the vineyards, with a very great slaughter. Thus the children of Ammon were subdued before the children of Israel. 34And Jephthah came to Mizpeh unto his house, and, behold, his daughter came out to meet him with timbrels and with dances: and she was his only child; beside her he had neither son nor daughter. 35And it came to pass, when he saw her, that he rent his clothes, and said, Alas, my daughter! thou hast brought me very low, and thou art one of them that trouble me: for I have opened my mouth unto the LORD, and I cannot go back. 36And she said unto him, My father, if thou hast opened thy mouth unto the LORD, do to me according to that which hath proceeded out of thy mouth; forasmuch as the LORD hath taken vengeance for thee of thine enemies, even of the children of Ammon. 37And she said unto her father, Let this thing be done for me: let me alone two months, that I may go up and down upon the mountains, and bewail my virginity, I and my fellows. 38And he said, Go. And he sent her away for two months: and she went with her companions, and bewailed her virginity upon the mountains. 39And it came to pass at the end of two months, that she returned unto her father, who did with her according to his vow which he had vowed: and she knew no man. And it was a custom in Israel, 40That the daughters of Israel went yearly to lament the daughter of Jephthah the Gileadite four days in a year.

Look, b, if you want to agree that the story is likely BS, we'll leave it there. But the doggone BOOK says he killed and burned her.

nsns
There is no more tragic and pathetic experience on record, illustrative of the heart-tearing contentions between ancient and time-honored religious customs and the contrary demands of advancing civilization, than the Hebrew narrative of Jephthah and his only daughter. As was common custom, this well-meaning man had made a foolish vow, had bargained with the “god of battles,” agreeing to pay a certain price for victory over his enemies. And this price was to make a sacrifice of that which first came out of his house to meet him when he returned to his home. Jephthah thought that one of his trusty slaves would thus be on hand to greet him, but it turned out that his daughter and only child came out to welcome him home. And so, even at that late date and among a supposedly civilized people, this beautiful maiden, after two months to mourn her fate, was actually offered as a human sacrifice by her father, and with the approval of his fellow tribesmen. And all this was done in the face of Moses’ stringent rulings against the offering of human sacrifice. But men and women are addicted to making foolish and needless vows, and the men of old held all such pledges to be highly sacred.
Jephthah kills his only child
"Then the Spirit of the LORD came upon Jephthah, and he passed through Gilead and Manasseh, and passed through Mizpah of Gilead; and from Mizpah of Gilead he advanced toward the people of Ammon. And Jephthah made a vow to the LORD, and said, "If You will indeed deliver the people of Ammon into my hands, then it will be that whatever comes out of the doors of my house to meet me, when I return in peace from the people of Ammon, shall surely be the LORD’s, and I will offer it up as a burnt offering."

So Jephthah advanced toward the people of Ammon to fight against them, and the Lord delivered them into his hands…When Jephthah came to his house at Mizpah, there was his daughter, coming out to meet him with timbrels and dancing; and she was his only child. Besides her he had neither son nor daughter. And it came to pass, when he saw her, that he tore his clothes, and said, ‘Alas, my daughter! You have brought me very low! You are among those who trouble me! For I have given my word to the LORD, and I cannot go back on it.’" (Judges 11:32-35)

"So she said to him, ‘My father, if you have given your word to the LORD, do to me according to what has gone out of your mouth, because the LORD has avenged you of your enemies, the people of Ammon."

Josephus-""…she only desired her father to give her leave, for two months, to bewail her youth with her fellow-citizens; and then she agreed, that at the fore-mentioned time he might do with her according to his vow. Accordingly, when that time was over, he sacrificed his daughter as a burnt-offering, offering such an oblation as was neither conformable to the law, nor acceptable to God…"
*********************************************
Sure sounds to me like she was toast. The things people will do for their gods. Sheesh.
quote:
that she returned unto her father, who did with her according to his vow which he had vowed: and she knew no man.


Where does it say he killed and burned her?


From my link:
Let us now use logic. Would God reward with victory a person who is capable of sacrificing human beings? God granted victory to Jephthah after his vow. If his vow was a human sacrifice, which was strictly forbidden and punished with death by the law of God; would God grant him victory?
In verse 29 it says that the Spirit of the Lord came upon Jephthah. Would the Holy Spirit be upon such a horribly confused religious murderer? He wouldn't be, of course. If Jephthah promised to kill and burn a human being the Holy Spirit was not going to be upon him.

"Then the Spirit of the LORD came upon Jephthah, and he passed over Gilead,
and Manasseh, and passed over Mizpeh of Gilead, and from Mizpeh of Gilead he
passed over unto the children of Ammon." ( Jdg 11: 29 )

This same reasoning can be made after reading Heb 11: 32. There, Paul commended Jephthah among several other biblical heroes. I don't think that if Jephthah killed and burned his daughter in a pagan altar, Paul was going to use him as a good example to be imitated by Christians.

"And what shall I more say? for the time would fail me to tell of Gideon, and
of Barak, and of Samson, and of Jephthah; of David also, and Samuel, and of the
prophets" ( Heb 11: 32 )
There is no mention of any of that.

When she returned after two months all it says is she knew no man. We know that at the time the word 'knew' in reference to the opposite gender meant sex. If she was dead, why talk about sex?
The sacrifice of a human was forbidden and God would not have accepted it. Jephthah would not have been mentioned as an example of a good follower..
The burnt offering was simply a reference to her given to God.
My Catholic friend confirms this is the version he was taught.

But believe he killed and ate her, it fits your logic better.
He did with her what he vowed to do, and he had vowed to offer her up as a burnt offering. Seems pretty clear cut to me.

Of course there is a translation controversy that hinges around the "and" in the biblical passage. Maybe it is better translated as "or".

Judges 11:31: "whatever comes out of the doors of my house to meet me, when I return in peace from the people of Ammon, shall surely be the Lord's, and (or?) I will offer it up as a burnt offering"

Hmmmmmm..... for an inerrant book, there seems to be a lot of problems with its accuracy.
quote:
whatever

He also said whatever, not whoever. And his vow was that 'whatever.....shall surely be the Lord's'.
Had it been an animal, that would have been an actual sacrifice, since it was his own daughter, then he 'sacrificed' her purity to remain faithful to God.

Or at least, that works for me. Believe how you wish.

Crusty, I think the original manuscripts were inerrant, the copies no.
Well, if he meant a "what", why did it matter that it was his daughter that came out first? Why was he upset? Why didn't he just say, "hey daughter", and then wait for an animal to come out of his house? And what would an animal be doing in his house to begin with? Or was he waiting on a servant? He doesn't sound like such a good man to begin with, and if he did have to "light up his daughter" it serves him right for being so blood thirsty.
quote:
Originally posted by A. Robustus:
Many Christians on the forum have defended the story of Abraham almost sacrificing and making a burnt offering of his son Isaac to God at God's request as the ultimate test of Abraham's faith by God (BTW, in the Quran, Allah also tells Abraham in a dream to sacrifice his son Ishmael...what's that all about?). Never mind that if you believe the story as true, that you must also contend with the thought of the depths of emotional damage that was done onto Isaac by being the tortured victim in a game played on his dad by Yahweh. Anyway, to the Abraham/Issac example, many forum Christians have recently said that God would not have actually allowed Abraham to go through with the slaughter of his own son or that God would never tell someone to actually kill their child. If so, how do you guys respond to another Biblical story of human sacrifice by a father to his child that God did not stop? If you're not familiar, I'm speaking of when Jephthah kills his only child (a nameless virgin daughter in Judges ch.11) to honor his pact with God. The story ends with Jephthah killing his own daughter and cooking her in repayment for God's help in a military victory. What is the apologist's explanation for why God did not see fit to intervene on this occasion and save an innocent child? Also, what is the moral lesson of this particular sacrifice story?


A.Rob

I believe Ishmael is the primary reason for the Moslim religion.

Abraham and sarah laughed at the angel sent by God with the massage
they were going to have a child. The child Ishmael.

They have been mad every since.

JH
No NS, I don't have to throw out the entire book. Just look for what makes sense, that's all.
You and Jenn can 'light up all the people you want to', I'll go with what I said.

I still don't know why all atheists love to tear apart a book they don't believe in just so they can ridicule someone.

I really would not waste my time even reading it if I believed it to be a fairy tale.

Like all the 'conspiracy site' with lizards, aliens, inside jobs, fake moon landings, etc...

You all say it's to enlighten the ignorant and brainwashed but I don't sense any feelings of help coming out of it, just ridicule and a massive dose of superiority complex.

As you like to say NS, meh.
I'm not tearing apart anything. I read the passages and even though I do believe it's all fiction I gave my opinion on what it meant. If you go to a book club and give your opinion on what the author was saying, and it differs from someone else's, are you tearing the book apart? Are they tearing it apart because they interpret it differently than you?
quote:
Originally posted by b50m:
No NS, I don't have to throw out the entire book. Just look for what makes sense, that's all.
You and Jenn can 'light up all the people you want to', I'll go with what I said.

I still don't know why all atheists love to tear apart a book they don't believe in just so they can ridicule someone.

I really would not waste my time even reading it if I believed it to be a fairy tale.

Like all the 'conspiracy site' with lizards, aliens, inside jobs, fake moon landings, etc...

You all say it's to enlighten the ignorant and brainwashed but I don't sense any feelings of help coming out of it, just ridicule and a massive dose of superiority complex.

As you like to say NS, meh.


b,

If you cannot read the plain text and arrive at the conclusion that everyone else does, no complex is necessary.

It's written down for you. Sure, it is likely another fairy tale, but before you can parse the fairly tale, you have to understand the story.

Jephthah killed his daughter. It IS the story. He burned her body. It's a horrible story, but that is the story. I gave you the verses. It's right there.

This is not controversial.

nsns
quote:
Originally posted by Jennifer:
I'm not tearing apart anything. I read the passages and even though I do believe it's all fiction I gave my opinion on what it meant. If you go to a book club and give your opinion on what the author was saying, and it differs from someone else's, are you tearing the book apart? Are they tearing it apart because they interpret it differently than you?


depends on the book.
if it were Moby Dick.. crap.. censors... ok..
if it were Moby Richard by herman melville... then yes.. it would mean i was taking it apart.
i would personally like to personally urinate on every printed copy of moby richard in existance. i hate that book with a sick blinding greasy hate.

i realize this had nothign to do with the topic at hand, but it was a chance for me to once again announce my bile ridden vomitous loathing for that book, so i took the opportunity when it presented itself.

thank you, have a nice day.


after post note:
Cool.. the censor didn't *** out the name of the book. i figured it would..
quote:
Originally posted by thenagel:
quote:
Originally posted by Jennifer:
I'm not tearing apart anything. I read the passages and even though I do believe it's all fiction I gave my opinion on what it meant. If you go to a book club and give your opinion on what the author was saying, and it differs from someone else's, are you tearing the book apart? Are they tearing it apart because they interpret it differently than you?


depends on the book.
if it were Moby Dick.. crap.. censors... ok..
if it were Moby Richard by herman melville... then yes.. it would mean i was taking it apart.
i would personally like to personally urinate on every printed copy of moby richard in existance. i hate that book with a sick blinding greasy hate.

i realize this had nothign to do with the topic at hand, but it was a chance for me to once again announce my bile ridden vomitous loathing for that book, so i took the opportunity when it presented itself.

thank you, have a nice day.


after post note:
Cool.. the censor didn't *** out the name of the book. i figured it would..
I didn't care for it either. Guy book.
quote:
Originally posted by Jennifer:
And what would an animal be doing in his house to begin with? Or was he waiting on a servant?


At the time and place, it was very common for animals to be on the ground floor of the house. The people would sleep on the roof.
quote:
Originally posted by Jack Hammer:

Abraham and sarah laughed at the angel sent by God with the massage
they were going to have a child. The child Ishmael.

They have been mad every since.

JH


No wonder they laughed. Even if the massage was given by an angel, that isn't how babies are made. Unless of course, "massage" is a euphemism. Razzer
quote:
If you cannot read the plain text and arrive at the conclusion that everyone else does, no complex is necessary.


That's the point, NS. Not everyone else does. The Catholic church does not teach it this way. Many other people do not read it that way.

Answer this:
If she was going to be cooked for dinner, why give her two months to moan about being a virgin? She could have fixed that in about 10 minutes. Why did he not immediately slit her throat and yell dinner's up!

Really, for a logical guy, killing her is illogical, morally wrong, and not allowed by scripture.

But please enjoy your version. You can't have God be benevolent now can you?
Thanks Crusty, I was getting to that.


quote:
At the time and place, it was very common for animals to be on the ground floor of the house. The people would sleep on the roof.


Many times they also slept with the animals. Not exactly a Holiday Inn back then.
quote:
Originally posted by CrustyMac:
quote:
Originally posted by Jennifer:
And what would an animal be doing in his house to begin with? Or was he waiting on a servant?


At the time and place, it was very common for animals to be on the ground floor of the house. The people would sleep on the roof.
I know the stables were on the ground floor and the house above, but not about them sleeping on a roof. And again, why would it upset him that she came out first if he hadn't meant a human sacrifice? "Welcome back daddy, whatcha doing"? "Hey daughter, waiting on an animal to come out".
I'm no Biblical scholar, Jennifer, but she now becomes the Lord's. This I assume means that she essentially becomes a nun - hence her bewailing her virginity - and this ends Jephthah's ancestral line. Not a good thing for someone with his ambition.

This all makes sense considering that human sacrifice at that time was not pleasing to God, so He - knowing the outcome - wouldn't have agreed to the deal to begin with.

What amazes me more than anything are all the deals OT God has to make in order to get his chosen people to behave, then they do it so poorly.
quote:
Originally posted by CrustyMac:
I'm no Biblical scholar, Jennifer, but she now becomes the Lord's. This I assume means that she essentially becomes a nun - hence her bewailing her virginity - and this ends Jephthah's ancestral line. Not a good thing for someone with his ambition.

This all makes sense considering that human sacrifice at that time was not pleasing to God, so He - knowing the outcome - wouldn't have agreed to the deal to begin with.

What amazes me more than anything are all the deals OT God has to make in order to get his chosen people to behave, then they do it so poorly.
I didn't say it pleased his god.

Josephus-""…she only desired her father to give her leave, for two months, to bewail her youth with her fellow-citizens; and then she agreed, that at the fore-mentioned time he might do with her according to his vow. Accordingly, when that time was over, he sacrificed his daughter as a burnt-offering, offering such an oblation as was neither conformable to the law, nor acceptable to God…"
*******************************************
I wonder what's the point of all these gruesome stories unless they were little fables told to keep anyone from attempting these things. In other words this could mean he did this and it peeved his god, so don't go around offering up human sacrifices. Then the buzz would be, "did you hear about that dude that burned his own kid for god? Man that teed off his god too, can't be doing that".
quote:
Accordingly, when that time was over, he sacrificed his daughter as a burnt-offering,

That is not Biblical. That is someone's else's interpretation.


Adam Clarke's Commentary[11] has an exposition of the issues at stake in this passage and contends that the vow Jephthah made was not as rash as it sounds.

"Verse 31. Shall surely be the Lord's, and I will offer it up for a burnt-offering.] The text is (Hebrew letters follow) hlw[ whytyl[hw hwhyl hyhw vehayah layhovah, vehaalithihu olah; the translation of which, according to the most accurate Hebrew scholars, is this: I will consecrate it to the Lord, or I will offer it for a burnt-offering; that is, "If it be a thing fit for a burnt-offering, it shall be made one; if fit for the service of God, it shall be consecrated to him." That conditions of this kind must have been implied in the vow, is evident enough; to have been made without them, it must have been the vow of a heathen, or a madman. If a dog had met him, this could not have been made a burnt-offering; and if his neighbour or friend's wife, son, or daughter, &c., had been returning from a visit to his family, his vow gave him no right over them. Besides, human sacrifices were ever an abomination to the Lord; and this was one of the grand reasons why God drove out the Canaanites, &c., because they offered their sons and daughters to Molech in the fire, i.e., made burnt-offerings of them, as is generally supposed."
To find what is actually said, you have to view the original language, like b50 just did. The problem comes in trying to translate, in this case, a Hebrew word or words with much meaning into a singular English word that means much less. I disagree sometimes with words chosen in certain translations because they don't seem to accurately reflect the original wording. However, I cannot imagine such a task. IMO, English Standard Version has done a pretty good job of translating into English. Still, if it's a subject in which you need to know more, it's in a person's best interest to use a Greek Hebrew lexical aid.

JMHO
quote:
Originally posted by b50m:
quote:
If you cannot read the plain text and arrive at the conclusion that everyone else does, no complex is necessary.


That's the point, NS. Not everyone else does. The Catholic church does not teach it this way. Many other people do not read it that way.

Answer this:
If she was going to be cooked for dinner, why give her two months to moan about being a virgin? She could have fixed that in about 10 minutes. Why did he not immediately slit her throat and yell dinner's up!

Really, for a logical guy, killing her is illogical, morally wrong, and not allowed by scripture.

But please enjoy your version. You can't have God be benevolent now can you?


LOL, now we're getting someplace. First, killing her is entirely logical. Jephthah made a deal with a bloodthirsty god, and had to make good on it.

Timbrel-babe bewailed her virginity because she knew she would die unmarried and horny. Nothing illogical about that.

Morally wrong? YES! That is the whole point! It was morally abhorrent, much like god helping Jephthah murder all those Ammonites with a great slaughter. That wasn't even sporting. The book is immoral, you see, and this is just one example.

Not allowed by scripture?? It IS the scripture!


b, you're trying to rationalize your way out of an uncomfortable story but it won't work. Judges 11:39! Timbrel-babe is toast! Sorry, but god was not benevolent toward her, if one is to believe the story.

You may take comfort in knowing it's likely a fairy tale, as is so much of the bible. But you cannot say that the KJV, from which I borrowed that passage, says Jephthah did not kill his daughter.

I don't care what the Catholics say, I know what the book says. Sounds like Bill, doesn't it? God help me.

But this speaks to a theme I've discussed for years here. The bible is simply a Rorschach blot. It is an assembly of vague stories from which you may take anything that strikes you. Feel free, but don't call it certainty and please don't say it was not the invention of men.


nsns
NS, you are acting like Bill. It never says he actually sacrificed her by burning her. No where.

I don't need to rationalize. Did God kill people, yes.
Did God save people, yes.
Did Jephthah murder his daughter, I don't think so. You do.

You don't care what any one else says, Catholics or otherwise, which is why this conversation is pointless. You are Bill, only YOUR view point is right.

That's the end of this for me. See you elsewhere.
quote:
Originally posted by b50m:
I still don't know why all atheists love to tear apart a book they don't believe in just so they can ridicule someone.


how could you not know why? if the bible was universally perceived at the book of fairy tales and quasi-history that it is, we would have no reason to discuss anything other than the prose it contains.

but you guys use this book to guide not only your life but the lives of others who do NOT agree with its teachings. you even use it as a SCIENCE BOOK fro crying out loud. may atheists believe - with very good evidence - that the bible is an evil, archaic, profoundly ignorant book to base our morality upon. anyone with a moral fiber is and should be outraged that people still use this book for moral guidance.

i do enjoy reading parts of it that shows me how far we have come and and how little has changed since those ancient times. but as long as you and cohorts use it to modify MY life and to do evil, someone has to call BS on it. it is a moral imperative.

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